Sunday, October 14, 2012
October 14 is the birthdate of Dwight D. ("Ike") Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, previously a five-star Army general during World War II and Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe. A permanent legacy of his presidency is the Interstate Highway System, which he championed and is officially named after him. The project, antithetical to mass transit, was justified on the basis of national security and the preparedness and mobility of the U.S. military in case of war. Construction began in 1956 with German autobahns as a model. The system was proclaimed complete on October 14, 1992, when a spectacular section in Glenwood Canyon, CO, was opened. Its total length is more than 47,000 miles, and construction costs have been estimated at roughly $500 billion in today’s dollars.